Wolves’ Thompson, Byfield invited to national junior team development camp
Jack Thompson has earned another opportunity to represent Canada on the world stage.
The Sudbury Wolves defenceman and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect was among 18 OHLers and 51 players in all to be invited Wednesday to attend Hockey Canada’s national junior team development camp, to be held at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary from July 28 to Aug. 4.
Wolves teammate and LA Kings top prospect Quinton Byfield was also invited to Canada’s summer showcase for the third straight year, but the two-time IIHF World Junior Championship medallist is not expected to attend.
Five goaltenders, 16 defencemen and 30 forwards will be part of the eight-day camp, participating in a variety of on- and off-ice sessions. The camp will also feature combined practices and intra-squad games with players attending Canada’s national men’s under-18 team summer development camp, including incoming Wolves forward David Goyette, on Aug. 2-3.
“This is an exciting first step as we begin preparations for the upcoming season and the opportunity to compete at the World Juniors on home ice,” Alan Millar, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, said in a press release. “We are excited about these 51 players, and we look forward to returning to the ice for a highly competitive camp to kick off a new season.”
Thompson, Sudbury’s second-round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, previously wore the maple leaf at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2018-19, but was not invited to take part in Canada’s camp for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup the following year.
Two strong seasons in the OHL, however, along with his selection by Tampa Bay in the third round of last year’s NHL Entry Draft, helped raise the young blueliner’s profile, as did his successful run the HockeyEttan league in Sweden this past winter.
Thompson joined Tampa’s affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y. on an amateur tryout this past spring and, after several practices and a single game, was awarded with an entry-level contract by the Lightning.
Hockey Canada also announced on Wednesday it will work with an experienced coaching staff to guide Canada’s national junior team through the 2021-22 season, culminating with the 2022 world juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. in December and January.
Dave Cameron has been named head coach, replacing Andre Tourigny, who was named head coach of the Arizona Coyotes on July 1.
Michael Dyck will return as an assistant coach. He will be joined by assistants Louis Robitaille and Dennis Williams, as well as goaltending consultant Olivier Michaud.
“We are excited to welcome five experienced coaches to Canada’s national junior team for the 2021-22 season, all of whom bring a wealth of experience from the National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League and internationally,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of hockey operations. “We know these five men will represent our country with pride as they use their leadership and expertise to help Canada compete for a gold medal this December.”